Standing on a cliff in front of a rock arch formation, Devil's Bridge

Devil’s Bridge National Park, Antigua: History & Visitor Guide

Antigua and Barbuda is highly regarded for its pristine, picture postcard beaches. 365 of them, to be exact. However, a visit to Devil’s Bridge National Park demonstrates the more intimidating depths of the waters surrounding the island. With a haunting story behind the location and an impressive display of nature’s power, it’s well worth checking out Devil’s Bridge during your Antigua vacation!

We actually visited Devil’s Bridge twice – once on a morning walk organised by our resort, and again as part of the Pink Panther Antigua Safari tour. Earning a badge of honour as the smallest national park I’ve ever visited; Devil’s Bridge National Park is actually a small piece of headland on the east side of the island, called Indian Town Point.

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Waves crashing against Devil's Bridge

Devil’s Bridge is a natural rock arch, carved by the sea. Over hundreds of thousands of years, the pounding waves of the Atlantic Ocean have crashed against the cliffs, eroding away the soft limestone rock face. The remaining harder rock has stayed in place, leaving a geological formation of the bridge and surrounding blowholes.

The legend of Devil’s Bridge

During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, large numbers of West and Central Africans were transported to Antigua and Barbuda, where they were enslaved as labourers in the sugar plantations. The majority lived in overpopulated, wretched conditions, often mistreated by their owners.

As a result, many were so desperate to escape their situation that they took drastic measures. Devil’s Bridge is said to have been the spot where slaves would throw themselves into the turbulent waters, to meet their end in the raging, relentless Atlantic Ocean. With no islands between Devil’s Bridge and the West Coast of Africa, it was considered their closest opportunity for their bodies to be washed back to their homeland.

Folk legend in Antigua also tells of a ‘voice’ leading the slaves to jump from the cliffs into the water below. It’s said that this ‘voice’ was that of the Devil himself.  

Is the bridge safe to walk on?

Definitely not. The rocks on the bridge are covered in slippery, wet moss, and waves often splash right into the air and over the arch. Anyone who tumbles into the tumultuous churn below has an incredibly low chance of coming out of the water alive. So just admire this one from a safe distance!

Getting to Devil’s Bridge

Devil’s Bridge is situated on the eastern side of Antigua, 22km from V.C. Bird International Airport and about 10 minutes’ drive from the town of Willikies. Free parking is available on-site.

Planning on hiring a car for your holiday? Check out my guide to driving in Antigua!

If you’re not renting a car in Antigua or staying at a nearby resort, the best way to visit is as part of an island tour. These usually incorporate multiple attractions on the island, including Shirley Heights and Nelson’s Dockyard National Park.

Entrance to Devil’s Bridge National Park is free.

Other things to do near Devil’s Bridge

Visiting the national park won’t take up lots of your time, as the whole designated area is less than 1km square and the bridge itself is the only major attraction. However, a walk in the surrounding area offers magnificent views of surrounding bays, and endemic plant life that can only be found in Antigua.

Devil’s Bridge is a short drive or half an hour’s walk from Long Bay, a picturesque beach that spans the length of a sheltered bay. Half of the beach is private, for guests of the Pineapple Beach Club resort, but the rest is accessible to the public. With soft white sand and calm waters, the eastern end of the cove is a lovely spot for snorkelling.

Where to stay near Willikies

Devil’s Bridge is close to both The Verandah and Pineapple Beach Club all-inclusive resorts. We stayed at Pineapple Beach, and had a gorgeous time enjoying the resort’s laid back vibe and stunning beach.

Willikies also has a handful of hotels and AirBnBs, including Seaside Escape and Lynn’s Peaceful Space.